The Head Gardener Was On Hand

Apparently yesterday’s weather was simply a precursor of Storm Dudley, due today. As the wind began to pick up this morning, we took a walk round the garden.

I had begun with four views from overhead, the last two of which featured camellias,

now quite abundant, and

beginning to drop blooms to soften the gravel paths.

Both bergenia and snowdrops are becoming widespread.

Pale blue irises reticulata; golden daffodils including têtes-à-têtes; white osteospermum; sprawling blue vinca; pale yellow primroses; and rich red cyclamen add their splashes of colour.

The strong sweet scents of Daphnes Odorata and Jacqueline Postill pervade the air.

The Head Gardener was on hand helping hanging hellebores hold heads high.

Dudley is tipped to be less fierce than Storm Eunice, due to arrive in UK on Friday, bringing us gusts of 85 mph.

This evening we dined on baked gammon; boiled potatoes; crunchy carrots; tender runner beans; and a mélange of fresh vegetables in a piquant cheese sauce, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I finished the Merlot.


  1. Eunice does sounds like she’s going to be something of a b***h wind. And you are so far ahead of us – with your irises dafs, daphnes etc. It’s like being out on the Steppes, this far east!!

  2. Hope Dudley is a gentleman
    I envy your knowledge of your plants. When I see local seasonal plants, my don’t knows exceed my recognized. Treat the Head Gardener/ Culinary Queen/Chauffeur to a nice outing when weather permits.

  3. Hope Dudley is a gentleman
    I envy your knowledge of your plants. When I see local seasonal plants, my don’t knows exceed my recognized. Treat the Head Gardener/ Culinary Queen/Chauffeur to a nice outing when weather permits.

  4. Interesting that bad weather is labeled according to where you are in the world, here it’s a named cyclone, the most recent one Dovi which start in the Pacific and flow down in wind currents either directly onto our land or take a left turn off the coast and wind there way to the south pole.

    But lovely to see a mix of winter and newly minted spring blossoms ? ?

  5. Every year I am surprised by how far ahead you guys are. Here, while a bit warmer, it’s still winter. The tulips and all other spring flowers are still resting underneath the soil, and it will be a while until we will see some new ‘greens’ poking through. The only flowers we will see, are ice flowers. 🙂

  6. Your garden is so characteristically full of very beautiful blooms –
    I think that all will be well in the end;
    the Head Gardener’s touch will be more lasting than Dudley’s, or Eunice’s.

  7. So many beautiful flowers already! We had a pink camellia many years ago. I had asked the site workers to dig it up when they replaced the old house, but they did not. It was just destroyed.

    The red cyclamen is particularly lovely. Is it a hardy variety, or is it generally mild enough there to support them?

  8. How lovely to see more colour in your garden, I hope it survives the terrible twosome’s joint destructive efforts this week.

    We’ve moved a few things to sheltered spots. The storm is still very fierce, but surprisingly, the squirrels weren’t deterred they still made their way across the open fields from their woodland home.

    I drove up the lane to the main road to meet sixteen-year-old granddaughter Daisy off the school bus, she was almost blown into the road by the strong wind. Needless to say she was delighted to see me waiting for her.

    I agree with Jill, do not go to the coast on Friday, there are warnings out to keep away.

  9. My gracious! Even though I’ve watched your flowers through the months, it seems that everything is putting on a special show just now. I hope you don’t suffer much damage from the storm. Of course, as we all know, nature’s resilience is amazing; whatever damage there is to plants, they will recover. (Generally….)

  10. It’s not just the hellebores holding their head high helped by the Head Gardener and her lieutenant, many more flowers (whose names I’d struggle to type out) appear to have shrugged off the passing storm. Your alliterations are spontaneous, delightful and superlative.

  11. Gosh, Derrick, your garden is awash in blooming bulbs. I’m tipping my hat to you and the head gardener for encouraging such loveliness. I miss my pair of Daphne shrubs. They grew for years. Then one failed, and a few years later the second one also failed. That scent is intoxicating. I’m glad to hear the next storm will be slightly less violent.

  12. I have enjoyed this sweeping view of your garden shrugging off the winter sleep. To have reached storm D with E whipping up in its wake appears to be horrendous. This must be the stormy season for you. I trust you and Jackie will batten down the hatches in preparation for them.

  13. I hope Dudley is a dud. Yikes, though! Eunice sounds scary! 😮 Hope and pray you all are safe AND your garden is safe! Please be careful! ❤️
    All of these flowers are beautiful…and some have such lovely names.
    I always enjoy spotting some of the watch-owls in the garden. ?

  14. I love that clever tongue twister, Derrick ? I’m less of a fan of Dudley & Eunice, the latter sounds very grim. I’ve cancelled the appointment I had for Friday which took me high on the moor. Fingers crossed for your beautiful garden ?

  15. Your spring flowers are so beautiful! It made me happy to see them. I imagine there will be more after the storms, which I hope are not too terrible. I enjoyed the alliteration, too. ?
    No flowers here yet. We’re going to have a warm spring-like day, then an unnamed storm will come with cold, gusty wind tonight.

  16. Derrick, how late in the year do you have a flowering garden? In our locale, flowering is still a month and a half away, longer for decent stuff. Also, what is gammon? I know, I could look it up but you do a better jib if describing ?

    1. Thanks very much, Steve. We usually have something flowering all the year round, but ours is an unusually mild climate. Gammon is a joint of ham – usually from the leg

  17. The garden is looking so very beautiful. I don’t like to think of you being anywhere near the 122 mph gust reported this morning! My fingers are firmly crossed you’ll come through it safely. I especially hope you’ve not been tempted to go out taking pictures.

  18. I hope the storm was not too fierce. I am catching up on my blog reading – and this was the day before the storm was s’posed to hit. The garden is looking beautiful. I love the way you can name all the blossoms. Your photos are a breath of fresh air. We’ve been missing that color!!

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